Nationals Park is my favorite place in all of DC. I like it so much that I recently decided to become its neighbor. However, I do not own a single item of Nats gear, because I am a Mets fan. I bleed orange and blue. I watch or listen to at least part of every Mets game thanks to MLB.TV, but the number of games I've attended at Nationals Park in the past few years is catching up to the number I've been to at Shea Stadium and Citi Field.
My first game at Nationals Park in 2009 laid the foundation for my love of this place and it keeps me coming back time and time again. I was interning in DC and living out at GMU in the dorms without a car. I was mostly bored and a little bit homesick for my family in New Jersey. I was ecstatic when my older brother, cousin, and some of their friends decided to take a trip to DC to see the Mets play the Nats. My terrible team was coming to where I was living to play a more terrible team and there might be a chance I could watch them win in person! The seats were cheap by New York standards and we got tickets for Section 100, those great cushioned ones in front of Red Porch.
It was July 20, 2009 and for the probably first and only time in my life, we got to the game early enough to watch the Mets hit BP. I can guarantee you have never seen five 20-30 year olds more excited to try to catch BP homeruns than we were. My brother still has the Ramon Castro BP homerun ball he got that day.
The Mets were nine games out of first and continuing to fall further behind, but being with family and watching the Mets play baseball in person, there was no place I would have rather been. Jeff Francoeur was on fire, going 3-4 with a HR. Daniel Murphy knocked in a couple runs too. Livan Hernandez threw a solid seven innings and K-Rod sealed the deal in the ninth. The Mets put it in the books and it was time to go back real life and my dorm room, but that night was my favorite of the entire summer.
After moving to DC permanently in 2012, long before I met James, I started going to games even when the Mets weren't in town, making memories with new and old friends. I made my first friends outside of work at Greek Night only a few weeks after moving to DC. I caught up with old friends who came to visit and reconnected with others who live here now too. I celebrated my past two birthdays at the ballpark. I drank a lot of beers at the Bullpen. Nationals Park has slowly and subtly become a cornerstone of my life over the past three years in a way that Fenway Park never did during my four years living in Kenmore Square. While I will always be a Mets fan, when it comes to Nationals Park, there's no place like home.